Thursday, July 26, 2007

Food Delivery Systems

We've been surprised to learn since coming home that Sidamo is a terribly finicky eater. What delights him one meal repulses him the next, so it's a constant juggle to find things to fill his belly. A new complicating factor is that he is becoming just as fickle about how the food enters his mouth as he is about what it is that's getting in there. We've thrown decorum to the wind and let him do pretty much what he wants (within reason) if the end result is food consumption.

Apple sauce? Yuck! Apple sauce eaten off the lid of a jar?


Taking my sister's suggestion, we tried to get him to eat tofu by giving him something to dip it in. The only thing I could find was barbecue sauce. It worked for the first couple of bites, but it then devolved into a barbecue-slurping mess (tofu being cast aside as nothing more than a hindering delivery mechanism).


Yes, that's barbecue sauce on his forehead, but could he be happier?

Apparently we're not the only ones exhausted by all this.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Daddy Dresses Me

We've had a few vertical versus horizontal incidents lately, but today was our best stripe conflict yet. In Greg's defense, Sid was screaming bloody murder while being changed, so Greg just grabbed the first things he could get his hands on.

Greg's sister Lisa, her husband Chris, and their beautiful daughter Scarlett (14 months) came by today to play. The last time Sidamo and Scarlett met, they didn't pay much attention to each other, but today there was some interaction (mostly positive).

And just for kicks, here's one of the crazy drooling machine a couple days ago. Not sure if he's actually possessed or if he just looks it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy boy

Sidamo has discovered television (so many of my principles have gone out the window in the past week—he's also had sugar and spent a day in disposable diapers), and he's completely enamored. Here he is pointing and hollering "eshi!" at some inane TV show. Eshi is an Amharic word that roughly translates to "OK", but Sidamo uses it for pretty much everything from "Can I have that?" to "Look, there's a bird!"

And here is some after-bath tickle time, which puts him in hysterics. He loves, loves, loves his bath—especially the part where he douses us by splashing his toys around.

As you can see, things are going quite well overall. We've been battling some nasty poops, but we took him off dairy yesterday and things are already much improved. Today was his first pediatrician's appointment, and the poor guy had to fork over 10 vials of blood. It was pure torture, and I still can't believe he has forgiven us already for our part in it. All a testament to his resilient and loving constitution.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Home sweet home, or Anywhere but an airplane

After a grueling 30-hour journey, we arrived home yesterday afternoon and are all settling in. All in all the travel went well. Sidamo was quite the trooper until we landed in Washington and had to suffer through customs (one guy serving a 300-person flight) and every level of random security screening, at which point he melted down. The Washington-to-Denver leg was unpleasant, but we all survived and are happy to be on terra firma.

I'll post more in coming days about our trip, which was incredible—if you haven't been to Ethiopia, I strongly recommend considering it as your next vacation destination (seriously). But in the meantime, here are a few pics, since I know that's what everyone is looking for.

Our second time bathing Sidamo at the guest house. The first time was too traumatic to record.Sidamo at the Addis Ababa airport, while he still thought travel was fun.
Our first walk around the neighborhood. The distant/scared look results from being within 10 feet of the dogs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

First Post From Ethiopia

This is our first Internet access, and we're sitting in a tin shack that serves as the town of Lalibela's Internet "cafe." It took 15 minutes to even get this web site to open, so we're not going to press our luck and try to send pictures.

We arrived Sunday night after a long but not so unpleasant flight, stayed in Addis Ababa for one night, and took an early flight to Bahir Dar, a town located on the shore of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia and the third largest in Africa. It's a beautiful town, and we had a great guide who took us up to Blue Nile Falls, then on a boat tour of Lake Tana, stopping at one of the lake's 20-something monasteries, where we saw texts from the 3rd and 9th centuries. Incredible.

Second day we drove 3 hours to Gondar through the Ethiopian countryside and mountains. It's more beautiful than we had ever imagined. The most amazing thing is that, in that entire drive, we never went more than 100 feet or so without passing groups of people and animals walking along the road--the driving is heart-stopping, with our driver continuing to drive 60 mph past herds of goats, cows, etc. taking up the greater part of the road, but everyone seems to get out of the way, and so far we've had no casualties.

Gondar is a beautiful hill town, with castles built in the 16th century, a bustling market, and more farms.

This morning we flew to Lalibela, home of 11 rock-hewn churches dating from the 12th century. It's impossible to describe just how breathtaking they are, but we'll try when we're not on a slow internet connection in a shack. We're here for one more day, and Friday we'll go back to Addis and meet Sidamo for the first time.

We're so, so happy we decided to take this trip before going to meet Sid. We're learning so much about the rich and beautiful culture of Ethiopia, and we feel much more connected to his history now.

We'll post more when we have a more reliable connection, but we just wanted to say we're here and happy and having the time of our lives. Thanks so much for all your love and support.